In the fall of 1962 Providence High School opened its doors at its new location in New Lenox. Tom Dedin was appointed the school’s first athletic director and he immediately began the athletic program. That fall the first sports were freshman boys’ soccer, basketball and baseball. The girls’ program was not interscholastic. The girls were involved in G.A.A. (Girls’ Athletic Association) which was an intramural league.
Major changes took place in 1972-73 with the addition of women’s interscholastic programs. Nan Airola became the first Girls’ Athletic Coordinator. Tom Dedin left Providence after the 1975-76 school years and Matt Senffner replaced Tom Dedin as Athletic Director in 1976.
Conference affiliation began in the late 1960’s when Providence joined the South Central Prep League. In 1971, the Celtics joined the Private School League and remained in it until the 1986-87 school years. In the fall of 1987, the Celtics began a two year affiliation with the West Suburban Catholic Conference. In the fall of 1989, Providence became an independent. In 1996 the school joined the Chicago Catholic League in boys’ sports while the school joined the East Suburban Catholic Conference in 2000 in girls’ sports.
In the mid-70’s, the Illinois High School Association started enrollment classification for state competition. By the end of the decade Providence had become an athletic powerhouse by winning State Championships in boys’ baseball 1978 (Jaime Garcia), wrestling 1978 (coach Tim Ruettiger) and girls’ track 1978 (Sr. Judith Legan). The boys’ basketball team captured the State Title in 1979 (coach Frank Palmasani).
In the 80’s as the enrollment grew, Providence became a “AA” school. Continuing its success, State Championships were captured in baseball 1982, football 1987 (coach Matt Senffner), and wrestling 1981(coach Tim Ruettiger), 1988 (coach Tim Ruettiger), and 1989 (Mike Polz). The baseball field was named the Tom Dedin Field in honor of the man who worked so hard to initiate the athletic programs at Providence.
In the 90’s the football program captured State Championships in 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 under head coach Matt Senffner. The football team compiled the 2nd longest winning streak in Illinois history while winning four consecutive State Championships. The 50 game winning streak began at the start of the 1994 season and concluded in the ninth game of the 1997 season.
In the 00’s the football team came back to win three more State Championships in 2001, 2002 and 2004 (coach Matt Senffner). The football field was named Matt Senffner Field in 2006 to honor the longtime coach and at the time of his retirement in 2006 the winningest coach in the state of Illinois with 300 wins.
The Wrestling Team captured State Championships in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 for a state record six consecutive state championship all under Coach Keith Healy.
In 2004, the Pom Pon Team earned a state championship trophy.
In addition, the Celtic Cheerleading Team took 3rd in State in 2003 and were National Champions in 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2013, they capped off their season with an IHSA State Championship in the large Division.
In 2008, the Boys Volleyball Team captured an IHSA 4th place state trophy.
In 2009, the Boys’ Golf Team took 5th place at State, in 2010 8th place and in 2011 9th place.
In 2009, the Football Team brought home a 2nd place state trophy and won the tough Catholic League Blue Conference championship beating all teams in the conference. Also in 2009, The Varsity Boys Hockey Team won the Illinois State Championship with a 6-5 overtime victory over Highland Park. This exciting Celtic win was for the White Division of the AHAI Blackhawk Cup making this Providence Catholic’s 1st State Championship in Hockey.
In 2010, 2011 and 2012 the Baseball Team won the Catholic League Conference. In 2011 the Varsity Baseball Team earned a 2nd place state trophy.
In 2012, Softball Team won an IHSA 3rd place State trophy in Class 3A.
In 2013, the Boy’s Track Team produced a first ever 2nd Place State trophy.
In 2014, the Boys' Baseball Team won the IHSA 4A State Championship and the Football team won the 7A State Championship.
The school has captured hundreds of Conference, Regional and Sectional championships since 1962. To date, Providence Catholic High School has won 28 State Championship Titles, which is more than any other Catholic high school in Illinois!
Providence Catholic High School sits on a beautiful 75 acres campus. The school’s athletic facilities include Bishop Kaffer Stadium and Matt Senffner Field that has synthetic turf (2012) and is surrounded by an all-weather track (2012). The stadium features has new lighting (2008) and was recently renovated with new home and visitor stands (2004). In addition to the bleachers, many other improvements were made to the stadium, including a new broadcast booth, sound system; scoreboard and renovated concession stand (2004).
The school’s Main Campus has two softball diamonds and two baseball diamonds. The varsity baseball team plays on Tom Dedin Field which was completely renovated in 2007. The project included a brick backstop, new home and visitor dugouts, storage and locker rooms, and press box.
The girls varsity softball field was renovated in 2012 with a new brick backstop along with a netting; home and away dugouts, storage area and a second story locker room along with a press box.
The indoor facilities include two gymnasiums, a complete wrestling facility, training center and a fully equipped weight room. Providence prides itself on having among the finest, most dedicated coaching staff in the state.
In addition, the school’s West Campus (¼ mile west of the main campus located at Gougar Road & Rt. 30) features two soccer fields, a freshman baseball diamond. In 2013, PCHS added two full size sand volleyball courts. The West Campus sits on fourteen (14) acres.
In 2012, PCHS acquired the South Campus (1/4 west and ¼ south of the school at Gougar Road and Ferro Drive), which features a cross-country running course (Wilderness Trail) and is the future site of athletic facilities and parking on twenty-five (25) acres.
28 State Championships and Counting!
The Celtics maintain a standard of excellence that is second to none. To date, Providence Catholic High School has won 26 state championship titles, which is more than any other Catholic high school in Illinois!
Baseball: '78, '82, '14
Boys' Basketball: '79
Football: '87, '91, '94, '95, '96, '97, '01, '02, '04, '14
Pom Pons: '04
Girls' Track: '78
Wrestling: '78, '81, '88, '89, '97, '98, '99, '00, '01, '02